Recruiter perspective vs my perspective. Where did I go wrong?

I had a friend refer me to a recruiter and we had a call the other day. Thought it went well however it didn't. They thought I was disorganized and didn't come up with a list of questions.

On the contrary, I actually did have questions and i had about 30 minutes actually so i might have just gotten a bit nervous. I was trying to make a career move internally to be quite honest however I'm considering leaving the company as a whole at this point.

I started off with some small talk about their weekend, got into asking about how they asked knew said person that referred me to them and asked if they got a chance to go over my resume.

The questions were on more of a "low level" (if i'm being honest here) such as how's my current resume looking, what can i do to stand out more internally, could you refer me to another recruiter whom is handling the posting.

I thought most of my coffee chats/informational interviews were going well however I guess I shouldn't be so naive and be thankful that this feedback came up now vs later

TLDR; thought the call with recruiter went well but it didn't and now i'm wondering what are some "high level" questions people ask a recruiter. If they were an analyst of course i'd be diving into it a lot more but it was with an HR rep, so i thought it'd be more limited in terms of what I could ask.

Comments (8)

Sep 27, 2017

Maybe the two of you came at this interview from two different angles. I don't see a reason to be discouraged if this was just an informational interview.

"The only thing I know is that I know nothing, and i am no quite sure that i know that." Socrates

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Oct 2, 2017

Very true. I don't know what he was exactly expecting from me especially when my friend was communicating with him regarding my interests

Best Response
Oct 2, 2017

In networking calls, I've learned that it's important to control it. If the person started suggesting how you could improve your resume, you didn't do enough to prepare. Depending on who you're speaking with, an informational interview might be used as round one. It's up to you to singf it out and push the conversation down that road. I've found it's never white and black with these things. The best thing you can do is prepare very well ahead and be polite but keep in mind what your goal is and push that.

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Oct 2, 2017

Agreed with the above. I had an "informational interview" recently, and although I of course assumed I wanted to make a strong impression etc. it was far more formal than I would have thought, including some technical questions and ending with "I will give good report on our talk."
Whether this was the result of an internal miscommunication or just standard practice I can't tell, but I always treat it like a first round at this point until the person I am speaking to starts speaking very informally.

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Oct 2, 2017

^ this 100%
+1 SB

Oct 5, 2017

Any advice on how to take it there without coming off aggressive? Examples would be helpful, as well. I do a good job of chatting up their experiences/choices/telling my story and why IB but always struggle driving it home to the very purpose of that initial email and phone call: being put on a first-round or phone screen list. Conversations tend to fizzle out with me asking if we can stay in touch and any general advice but with it being October, I need to begin materializing.

Oct 5, 2017

A little difficult to give a 'template' because a lot of it is feeling out the conversation and then steering it in the direction you want, but I'll give it a shot:

  • Intro / exchange pleasantries
  • You set an "agenda" for the call (Your background / current situation (i.e. why you are looking at other opportunities), the other person's background (if they are not a recruiter), Q&A)
  • After a couple of standard Q&As (what's your typical day, what do you like about the job, etc.) you can start to guide the conversation toward questions about a specific role:
    • What is the typical background of the candidates who place in these roles
    • How can i differentiate myself / what experiences should I highlight
    • What is the interview / recruiting process like
  • Hopefully at this point the other person will jump in and help drive the conversation forward

To be honest, it's one of those things where practice makes perfect. You'll likely have a couple of networking calls that go super awkwardly and will be the end of the road for that firm.

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Oct 5, 2017